KIRKLAND, Wash. — If you have extra Halloween candy, a non-profit in Kirkland knows just how to put it to good use.
Birthday Dreams was founded in 2009 to bring hope and joy to children who are homeless with the gift of a birthday party. Treats like candy are a popular component of birthday goodie bags, which is where the spooky holiday comes in.
"Our main goal is to make birthday dreams come true for the homeless children in our communities," said Birthday Dreams Development Director Jarod Drozdowski .“People can bring in their candy or even donate money, toys, and other items for our kids' birthdays.”
The nonprofit provides birthday parties for children living in shelters, with a focus on making sure the parents also get some credit for the celebration, Drozdowski said. The non-profit drops off decorations, cake, goodie bags and other birthday accouterments so the parents can bring the party to life.
"Sometimes we have group birthday parties with 20-30 kids, they get goodie bags, in those bags, there's little activities, of course, some candy, and that's why the Halloween candy we receive donated from our supporters is so important," Drozdowski said.
The organization gladly accepts excess Halloween candy at its Renton headquarters.
Volunteers donate their time to sort, wrap and even deliver celebrations to families in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Birthday Dreams is in constant need of donations and even works with local students who lead toy drives at their schools.
The small but dedicated group is busy fulfilling birthday wish lists from parents and Drozdowski says some of the old-fashioned staples are in need. Juice for parties, books for kids and board games are all currently in short supply. Birthday Dreams believes self-worth is a gift and throwing a birthday party for thousands of local kids takes a community, from the generous donations to the many local shelters the organization works with.
To turn your Halloween Candy into Birthday Dreams, to volunteer or donate visit the organization's website.